Hertfordshire now has the most diverse police force in its history

A Romanian-born Police Constable has praised Hertfordshire Police's Positive Action Team for the support she received during her recruitment journey with the force

Police Constable Florentina IIie, 32, who has lived in the UK for 12 years, previously ran her own beauty business before joining the police.

December graduates from the force, Florentina is on the right, second row

December graduates from the force, Florentina is on the right, second row

She said: “They were so helpful and encouraging, there’s no way I could have done it without their support, step by step.

“Even after the application process, the team were a constant reassurance and cared how I was doing, encouraging me – it was wonderful. It really does feel like you’re being welcomed into Hertfordshire’s policing family.”

The 32-year-old, who hopes to inspire other women and people whose first language isn’t English to apply to join the force, passed out as a student PC in December.

Recent new recruits supported through positive action include former teachers, ex-military personnel, an ex-barrister and charity workers with numerous languages spoken, ranging from Arabic to Romanian, Portuguese to Yoruba (a West African language). And for the first time, the force has more than 100 black, Asian and minority ethnic police officers.

As the force starts its push to recruit extra officers, Chief Constable Charlie Hall says they are committed to recruiting a workforce that reflects the communities they serve and protect, making more effort to attract and support people from under-represented backgrounds through the recruitment process.

He said: “You often hear misconceptions about positive action – for example that it’s positive discrimination and a tick box exercise.

"This couldn’t be further from the truth. We work hard to support candidates hoping to become officers to help level the playing field, encouraging people from different backgrounds and under-represented groups. Ultimately, everyone is assessed equally on merit.”

Candidates receive advice and support through regular advice sessions through Hertfordshire Police's ‘positive action’ scheme.

Inspector Debbie Jacyna, from Workforce Development, said: "The great thing about many of our positive action candidates is that as well as often speaking another language, which is so useful on the beat, many come into policing slightly later, with real life experience.

“Like Florentina, who I mentored. She ran her own business and volunteered in a women’s refuge before joining us and this makes such a difference.”

To book a place at the next insight event, on Tuesday, February 18, email the Positive Action Team on positiveaction@herts.pnn.police.uk.